We've been saying for ages Apple needs to develop a music player for DJs. Jason O'Grady has been saying it for two years. Well, Apple, HP is likely to beat you to the punch:

The owners of the Playlist club
in London (which features a night for iPod DJs just like APT here in
NYC) alerted CDM to an exclusive interview with the team at HP
developing the DJammer handheld DJ device. Here's why it's going to
replace the iPod in clubs:

  • Mic input
  • Hold/scratch tracks, via sophisticated motion sensors
  • More than a DJ device: sounds like a motion-sensitive portable
    sampler; HP says it will be "the new electric guitar" — we'll see, but
    it does look like a real instrument
  • Streaming to other devices for collaboration
  • HP team wants an open interface

This sounds huge — if the device makes it to market. Let's hope the honchos at HP see the value of this research.

Read Playlist's full interview with HP.
HP DJammer research page

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  • Guest

    It kinda looks like a shower faucet nob. I like the wood look and it sounds like a cool product. I need more pictures of it though. 😕

  • Guest

    Research center, funny? They just added two common features to a standard mp3 player. Do you need research for that?

  • Guest

    1. Anything other than a Technic deck is not staple in the game.
    2. Scratch DJ's don't use the tech stuff, they use vinyl.

    Sooner or later, they'll have MTV's Unplugged for DJ's, and the art of rockin' on vinyl will be lost and people will think only of a pen when the word "stylus" is mentioned.

  • Guest

    That's such BS dude. What about samplers? Not to mention Ming & FS, and Jurassic 5's Cut Chemist & Nu Mark use Pioneer CD decks on stage all the time.

    As for this HP thing, I think it would be killer to do a hack and use the accelerometer inside as a midi controller. I've seen the video on their research site, and I have to say that the idea of scratching in the air is pretty much a toy. Now controlling a filter using the device might be another story, but scratching requires much more precise movements than that device would be capable of. For example, the guy who was demoing the device couldn't do anything other than really simple off-beat baby scratches. The idea of having one hand in the air holding a device, and another controlling the crossfader is way too awkward, especially if two devices would be needed to do a typical DJ set.

    I think HP should either develop the idea a bit, then partner with a respected company like Vestax, Dennon, or Numark. Or, they should actually take the concept of a DJ MP3 player seriously and do some real research on how DJs actually play music. It's alot more than just scratching. They will have to have the device be low latency, with at least a +/- 10% pitch slider, and have easy scanning/cue to a very precise degree. Anything short of this is a toy (just look at CDJ decks). I can't believe that they are trying to hype it as something a real musician would use. It’s not unless you’re doing some circuit-bending type of set. So on the point of whether or not it’s a toy I would agree with you. As for your caveman attitude, grow up. The world was born before the advent of vinyl, and it would do for the world to see it gone before it ends. It’s one thing to appreciate the differences between technologies, it’s a whole other thing to stick one’s head in the sand and pretend the world isn’t moving on.

  • Guest

  • Guest

    🙂 :grin :eek :upset :zzz 😡 :sigh 🙁

  • Guest

    :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz :zzz
    PR bullshit from a company whose last innovation was the dot matrix printer.

  • tom

    I don't believe this will ever come to market – looks like HP have hired some brand consultant and come up with this guff to get themselves on MTV.
    BUT BUT BUT BUT, it would be good if HP did some clever Music Thing, because (drum roll…) William R Hewlett invented the audio oscillator, making possible the entire history of synthesis!

  • Guest

    It's networkable, uses open standards, and opens up music consumption and playlout. It even has an audio in socket, so you can add your own sounds. It's an utterly impressive piece of kit. read the Playlist club report for more details.

  • Guest

    Looks like something my gay neighbor would use on a Tuesday night – he loves wood.
    In my opinion, I sense HP came out with this product too quickly. Some interesting ideas, but executed poorly. They need to come out with a 90% revision of this product to save this one (partly in design, as well as features and functions). As someone mentioned on here, DJing isn't just about scratching – in fact there are many DJs out there who don't scratch at all. If you want to market something for the DJ, speak TO the DJ.

  • Guest

    Where's the fader?

    I wouldn't mind taking this with me to some gigs.. but seriously.. are you really gonna bother if all you can do no-fader scratches like tears and scribbles?

  • Guest

    did anyone explain to them what djs do?

    and do you have to bring your laptop to reassign the 3 buttons?

  • admin

    Wow, didn't expect such a passionate response. It's a research idea, proof of concept, crazy concept flying car sort of thing. I'm not saying this is the future — just that it puts forward some interesting ideas:

    The internet streaming, motion sensors, accelerometer, hell, just adding an input — all good ideas.

    I think tech evolution is just like any other evolution: to get the next big step, you'll need some forty-legged monstrosity that can't walk along the way.

    This is may somewhere in between. I agree with all the criticisms above: I just say, to HP, develop the whole idea (and answer these criticisms, indeed).

    And to the rest of us — that's easy — let's do something cooler.

    This week, we've learned how to anger CDM readers: eliminate FireWire from your iPod package, or try to pawn off a crazy mood ring with faux-wood-inlay as a serious DJ tool. 🙂


  • admin

    Aren't you glad I don't disable anonymous posting?

    Knock `em dead, Guest.


  • Guest

    I always use my hand to scratch my instrument…

  • Guest

    What's so amazing is the number of GUests who instantly make a knee-jerk reaction without actually reading (and understanding) the piece. Like, how clear does one have to be that this is a 1. Research project and 2. Not in production and 3. They are working with a DJ to figure out what people need and 4. People are such purists about DJ kit. I guess it comes down to the cost of initial investment. The territory of the future is one in which vinyl, CD and digital DJs coexist. And if a DJ does not like that, why not move to http://www.ludditeaboutmusic.com?

  • admin

    I'm with you on that: naturally, MOST of the people reading this site believe in a coexistence of vinyl, CDs, digital media, laser sensors, circuit-bent Speak-n-Spells, and pyrotechnic synths. And why not?

    In the meantime, I'm going to see what else I can find about the DJammer, as there is part of this research that definitely sounds cool — even if this doesn't become a shipping product.

  • Guest

    speaks for itself… I can't see this thing selling more than a couple of thousand units.

    Look at the design, you can't put it in your pocket without having some part of it poking at you. It already looks outdated with the pathetic wood grain, and if you will be an avid user of this contraption, the fake chrome will come off in a month or two, and it won't look "cool" or "hip", it will look pathetic. The only thing you'll be left scratching is your head, wondering why you threw out good money for this ugly thing.